Monday, June 04, 2007

Vanessa goes to Roma

We decided we wanted to take a weekend trip somewhere. We asked all our friends if they could spend two days in any European city, which one would be. Every single one said Rome. Who were we to argue? To Rome then! Note: At this rate Vanessa is going to have more stamps in her passport before she's one than many Americans do before they're twenty-one.
But before we get to the pictures in Rome, here are some more pictures starring our lovable Vanessa!
Vanessa, what were you doing in the bathroom with that lightsaber?
Vanessa loves her Grandma, her banana, and her drum.
Um, maybe she loves banana a little too much...
Now she's running away from the banana. Or dare I say, she had to split? Perhaps she just peeled out of there. Stop that stop that. On to the Rome pictures.
Word of caution, if you ever go to Rome, do not get a rental car. If you take a taxi, buckle your seatbelt and be prepared for an adventure. People in Rome drive, what's the word, oh yea, crazy like. I have never seen so many highspeed near accidents in my life. Sarah likened it to Go-Cart racing with all the small European cars. 4 cars fitting in a 2 car lane and whichever one can cut the other one off first gets the position. Very interesting...
Our first stop was to visit the Vatican Museum and see the Sistine Chapel. Here's Sarah standing in a beautiful courtyard on a gorgeous 75 degree (F) sunny day.
There's no way for me to have taken pictures of the entire inside of the Museum, but just imagine walking for 1.5 hours through room after room with every inch of wall/ceiling decorated and/or painted. Amazing stuff.

What a nice family!
Yes, those are all paintings you above and around Sarah.

I just thought this painting was cool. No idea who it painted it.
A nice look into the Vatican from a museum window.

Daddy and Vanessa in the courtyard after seeing the Sistine Chapel. Couldn't take any pictures there because flashless cameras can "damage" the paintings. Right. I guess I can understand why they don't want pictures taken there. But trust me, it was amazing, even if it was really really crowded.
After the museum, we decided to walk around Rome. Here's the family outside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

From there we walked to the Castel Saint Angelo. This is one of two beautiful bridges on either side of it.
Here's the front of Castel Saint Angelo. It's like Where's Waldo, where's Sarah and Vanessa?
Here's my favorite bridge I saw in Rome on the other side of the castle.

From there we walked around downtown until we found the Piazza Navona. Here there were open air pizzerias, ristorantes, and many artists and muscians peddling their wares. Some were very very good. Some shouldn't quit their day job. Vanessa wasn't too happy because she wanted to eat.
After a snack for Vanessa, we walked toward the Pantheon. What you don't see in this photo is the McDonalds right across the street. It was late in the day and the line was long, so we didn't get a chance to go inside. It's at the top of our list of things to see next time though...

Vanessa and Sarah manage to avoid the street peddlers and squeeze in a great shot in front of the Trevi Fountain.
Here are the Spanish Steps. We passed them on our way back to the metro station to go back to our hotel and crash for the evening.
We woke the next morning to find it pouring. We decided that our top priority even with the rain was to see the Colosseum.

Supposedly in its hay day it could have all 70,000 of it's visitors exit within 10 minutes. I wish FedEx field was that efficient.
Here's Sarah and Vanessa in the Emperor's entrance. The cross was added in the 20th century.
Sarah tries to listen to our tour guide through a portable radio system.
Vanessa decided she wanted to walk around, so we took her inside. She's gotten really good at walking. She can walk all by herself for a couple of steps if focused, and if you hold her hand, she'll get from point A to point B, albeit it randomly and with occasional plops.
See Daddy! I'm such a good tourist!

Ooh, pretty statue.
Vanessa poses one last time near one of the entrances to the Colosseum.
Bye bye Colosseum!
It's really hard to describe how big this one. When you consider that it's around 2000 years old, you're amazed its in as good condition as it is.
Sarah and Vanessa pose near an arch near the Roman Forum. I know it has a name, but I'm just too lazy to look it up right now.

What a view! You can see the top of the building that houses the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Rome. That would be our final destination.
One last look back at the Colosseum.
On the way, Daddy and Vanessa pose in front of a cool building.
James, Vanessa, and his coworker Josh pose in front of the massive building that houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It also had lots of staircases that were a ton of fun to bring Vanessa's stroller up.
An even better view! We were so glad to get a taste of Rome. I highly recommend if you get a chance to go to do so. There are so many old and beautiful buildings everywhere that it's just hard to describe. Also, language wasn't a problem because there was English signs everywhere.

I think our next trip will be to Munich and a tour of some castles in southern central Germany with Nana who flies in Thursday. More fun to come...

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